Our CAL 34 has a draft of 4′ 8″ or thereabouts and a lot of folks might actually think of that as being “shoal draft”…
Our last boat, Loose Moose 2, drew a kiss over one foot and the previous Loose Moose only drew one foot (as in 12 inches)…
So, from where I sit, I put real shoal draft as somewhere at three feet or less.
There’s a lot to be said for having a real shoal draft boat… For one, providing it was designed by someone who knew what they were doing, it’s as safe or safer than their non-shoal draft brethren.
Secondly, it allows you to sail in places that a lot of deeper draft boats find seriously problematic. Just for the record, I happen to find just about anything that lessens the number of problematic things in my life a goodly thing.
But the really wonderful thing for folks cruising on a budget is that it allows you to find spots to anchor or moor for free or cheap in or near places where it’s problematic to find free or cheap anchorages or moorage. Throw in the fact that having a shoal draft boat (and some common sense) you can also avoid a lot of costs associated with haulouts and suchlike.
I won’t even begin to get into the added bonus of regularly watching bareboats run aground as they try to anchor on top of you….
The downside of real shoal draft is very few production boats have it and, if you want it, you’ll more than likely have to build it yourself.
|Tad Roberts 28 foot Future Cruiser with eighteen inch draft|